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The Flu Diaries

fluFirst published in The Big Jewel.

Sunday

Brother-in-law invites us over to watch football. Upon arriving, he admits his youngest daughter is getting over the flu, but that he kept that fact a secret for fear my hypochondriac husband wouldn’t visit. What a scamp! My laughter drowns ominous foreshadowing music playing in the background.

I spend hours singing “Living on a Prayer” with older niece, who isn’t yet showing symptoms of illness shared by younger sister, a.k.a. “Patient Zero.”  40,000 viruses swarming video game microphone sing backup in screechy virus voices, but go unheard thanks to my stirring rendition of “Life is a Highway.”

I rock on.

Monday

We drive home. Viruses begin digging trenches, preparing for the upcoming battle. My white  blood cells float around, high-fiving the red blood cells, nary a care in the world. They are complacent, thanks to the infrequency of my interaction with weapons of mass destruction known as “children.”

Tuesday

Normal work day. The viruses share battle plans through their hive-mind. “We are the Borg,” they say. “Existence as you know it is over.”  The white blood cells shrug. They never watched Star Trek The Next Generation.  They assume someone is mumbling about 1978 professional men’s tennis and, inspired, trot off for a quick match.

Wednesday

Wake up with sore throat, which I blame on window left open all night and/or allergies. White blood cells think “open window” theory seems a reasonable assumption and return to throwing clay in pottery class. One of the white blood cells puts on “Unchained Melody” from the Ghost soundtrack and they all have a good laugh.

Thursday

Head is threatening to explode with congestion. Take DayQuil all day and NyQuil all night to keep cough monkeys out of my bronchial trees. Out! Out! Damn Cough Monkeys!! I will defeat the Cough Monkeys and save the princess!

Make note to reduce frequency of Day/NyQuil consumption.

White blood cells scramble for their uniforms and weapons, only to find viruses have stolen and hidden them while the white blood cells were skinny dipping.

Viruses burst into uncontrollable giggles.

Friday

Spend day on sofa. Start watching Bones television show from the first 2005 episode on Netflix. Realize after two episodes that every show is exactly the same, but for the victim’s cause of death. Proceed to watch seasons 2005-2009.

Viruses and white blood cells now engaged in full scale war.

Saturday

Spend day on sofa. Barely have enough energy to cross nieces’ names off Christmas list.

Sunday

Spend day on sofa. Dog has not been walked for a week and helpfully presses body against door in case I’ve forgotten how to find my way out of the house.

Monday

Doting husband jumps as I enter office to find him tearing through file cabinet. He stuffs paper into folder and closes drawer. Folder is marked “Life insurance policy.”

In classic evil despot style, viruses have engaged on too many fronts. White blood cells begin to turn the tables. Tiny bits of Italian and French DNA stop rooting for viruses and begin cheering on white blood cells.

Tuesday

Some energy returns during daylight, but at night, coughing begins in earnest. Awake to find tired husband hovering over me with hands wrapped around my throat.  Says he was trying to apply Vick’s VapoRub.

Wednesday

Coughing continues. Google mortality rate of people falling asleep with cough drops in their mouths. Results inconclusive. Sleep on sofa. Dog takes my place in bed before I can leave the room with my pillows.

Thursday

Husband and dog have gone missing. Find rambling note that implies they’re fulfilling life-long dream of completing Australian “walkabout.”

White blood cells return from battle to find unappreciative red blood cells have been high the whole time they were gone.

Friday

Coughing subsides. Feeling nearly normal. Mother calls and demands husband and dog stop squatting in her garage.

Saturday

Family reunited. Nieces call about upcoming birthday party. Pretend they’ve accidentally called Chinese takeout and hang up.


Amy Vansant

Voted Funniest Non-Mommy Blog by a Bunch of Moms I Got Really Drunk.Amy has been finding creative ways to make no money since high school.
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17 Responses

  1. Tracy

    Your husband didn’t get sick??? Bastard. Also, you should train your dog to dote on you when sick.

    I interacted with germs, I mean children, against my will last week and seem to have cheated illness! Yea for hand sanitizer.
    Tracy recently posted..Free Birth Control on the Subway
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    • Amy Vansant

      I really don’t know how he avoided it – I was a DISASTER. The dog has made it clear I dote on him, never the reverse. Unless he wants something, and then he’s quite attentive.
      Amy Vansant recently posted..Walk With Me…

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  2. Jen Has A Pen

    This was hilarious. I was seriously thinking about what my own red and white blood cells were doing in my body. Wondering what song THEY like to dance to. :-) And, the fact that you googled cough drop choking death makes me love you.

    Glad you are feeling better!
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    • Amy Vansant

      Thank you! I actually did fall asleep and then wake up at least three times with tiny little cough drops still stuck to the roof of my mouth, so I was pretty scared I would die the next time!

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  3. David

    I loved the funny (well, you can laugh about it now anyway) timeline. One thing that stood out for me – and my sister-in-law is famous for doing this – the oh-by-the-way-my-kids-were-a-little-bit-ill-yesterday ambush. So we drive two and a half hours to see them – no hotel needed of course because we’re all one big murderously happy family and then stay a couple of nights in the middle of a viral war zone. Having your in-laws three year old jump in your lap with colorful nasal discharge running down their face is so much fun. And the hand crafted mask I made in the bathroom of Clorox wipes burns my skin. Of course all of my kids get sick – and my wife too which I guess is sort of a sweet revenge in itself. Oh, the joy of kids and germs and in-laws!
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  4. Francinne

    Having flu is not really that normal and you have to make sure that you have to do everything just to prevent and cure it…
    Francinne recently posted..Skiing Holidays In France

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